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proposal for maximizing fm leo contacts

after reading this, should you decide to flame someone, flame me, not the 
list. if you have some valid suggestions, i would be happy to listen. i am only 
making this suggestion for obvious reasons. 

Proposal for maximizing contacts on FM LEO satellites. 

Now that we have enticed many new hams to try the FM LEO satellites, 
we have several of them that are willing and able to go to a grid square 
that others need. 

The rare grids and/or dual/quad grid operations are just that.  Rare.  For 
"Grid Square Hunters" they provide an excellent opportunity to collect a 
few that they need for VUCC or other awards (or just plain old bragging 
rights), and in just a few minutes many contacts can be handed out.  
These type of operations take place only occasionally, and many hams 
would be very appreciative if "rag-chew" stations sat back and gave up 
part of a pass to let the grid hunters complete a few contacts.

I have suggested to the rover stations in order to maximize their effort, 
they should try to sit on a double (DN12/23) or quadruple grid boundary 
(DN12/22/13/23). This way, one contact with them will equal 2 or 4 grid 
squares. This will be the best an operator can do providing they are not 
sitting in the middle of an interstate highway, in the middle of a state prison 
or on someone’s private property without their approval.

The next thing that we need to discuss to maximize their impact and ability 
to make the most contacts is their operating condition. They will mostly be 
using either a handheld with an arrow antenna, a handheld with a higher 
gain rubber duck type antenna or a mobile radio with vertical antenna. All 
of these pose unique problems. The most noticeable is the lack of 
downlink signal and fades. There is nothing that can be done to correct 
this without changing either the radio to allow for Doppler correction in 
less than 5Khz steps or the antenna to allow for circular polarization and 
direction ability.

So, how do we create more contacts with what we have? We have a 
pilot station assist the person in the rare grid. When I say assist, it does 
not mean repeating any call signs and helping complete a QSO but rather 
steering the group so that the low power rare grid station has the 
opportunity to acknowledge everyone that would like that grid square.

Here is how it will work. KB1ZZZ wants to work from a grid square 
during two evening passes of UO-14. He asks KC5AAA to be his pilot. 
When the satellite comes up for KB1ZZZ, KC5AAA calls him to make 
sure he is ready. Then KC5AAA with his home station and the ability to 
get into the satellite lets everyone know that KB1ZZZ is in grid square 
XX11/XX12 and is listening for stations that would like a contact. Please 
give your call sign twice in a row with standard phonetics and not again. 
KB1ZZZ listens for a 30 seconds or so and writes down all the calls that 
are calling him. Then KC5AAA comes back on and says ‘stand by, stand 
by, let KB1ZZZ acknowledge the stations he has heard’. KB1ZZZ will 
then give the list he has written down and asks if any need to be 
corrected. If all are okay and no one has said my call is wrong, the pilot 
station will once again ask for anyone that wants a contact to give their 
call two times with standard phonetics in a row. 

The saying of your call twice allows him to make sure he has the call right 
the first time. It takes roughly 3 seconds to say your call twice. In 30 
seconds, he will have 10 stations and then acknowledge them. In two 
minutes, he will have about 30 stations worked which should be everyone 
that is on the bird that wants the grid squares.

The other thing is that if the rare gird station does not have a tape 
recorder, it is difficult to write a call, acknowledge it, write another, etc. 
This way, he doesn’t have to hold his mic and talk, he can write calls 
down which will make him more efficient. 

As the FM LEO satellites are used by many to simply say hi to their 
friends and there are many that do not care for collecting grid squares, the 
ability to quickly complete the contact will allow everyone the opportunity 
to use the satellite for their particular needs. It will be much more efficient 
than having those that want a contact to continue trying to make one when 
the rare grid station keeps getting stepped on. Or someone else with an ht 
that would like to make a contact with the rare grid station but can’t get 

Bruce Paige, KK5DO                      Internet: kk5do@amsat.org
Houston, Texas                                or: kk5do@houston.rr.com
AMSAT Area Coordinator                      
ARRL Awards Manager (WAS, 5BWAS, VUCC), VE                     
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